Statement of Tribute to Elijah Harper

On behalf of my constituents, and all New Democrats I would like to stand in this House and pay tribute to Elijah Harper.

I would like to share our condolences with Elijah's family and his community on this great loss.

I had the honour of knowing Elijah from a young age as he was first elected MLA in Manitoba in 1981, along with my father. Elijah made history as the first First Nations person to be elected as MLA and then appointed to Cabinet in Manitoba. He changed the course of history by speaking for Aboriginal people on the Meech Lake Accord. He spoke with courage on First Nations issues and was a champion for First Nations sovereignty, for justice, for building a better future.

I have the honour to represent the same constituency that Elijah Harper represented, including Red Sucker Lake, Elijah's First Nation, a Nation that is so proud of him. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with Elijah on a number of occasions to share perspectives on Northern and Aboriginlal issues.

Elijah Harper was a visionary and a trail blazer. He was a role model. And history will record him as being a great leader for First Nations, for Manitobans and for all Canadians.

Thank you Elijah.